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Chief Executive concludes three-nation visit (with photos)

     The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, today (April 17, Brazil time) concluded his visit to promote Hong Kong's economic strength and explore further cooperation opportunities with New Zealand, Chile and Brazil.

    During his last leg of visit in Brazil, the Chief Executive met a number of political and business leaders and updated them on Hong Kong's latest developments.

    In Brasilia, he met with Governor of Brazil's Central Bank, Mr Alexandre Tombini, to discuss the growing trend of settling trade with Mainland China in Renminbi, and the role of Hong Kong in this respect.  Mr Tsang also met with the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade and Brazilian National Confederation of Industry to exchange views on bilateral trade relations and opportunities.  He also met with Chinese Ambassador to Brazil, Mr Li Jinzhang.

     In São Paulo, he visited BM&FBOVESPA, one of the world's largest stock exchanges, and held talks with the bourse's Chief Executive Officer, Mr Edemir Pinto. He also met with Acting Chinese Consul-General in São Paulo, Ms Hu Ying and addressed the local financial sector on Hong Kong's strength as China's global financial centre at a working breakfast hosted by HSBC Brazil.

     In his speech, the Chief Executive said Hong Kong was fully engaged with the Central Government in the liberalisation of Renminbi, with total Renminbi deposits in the city reaching around Renminbi 576 billion as at end-January this year.

     "Another attractive option is to list on our stock market.  Brazilian firms wishing to raise capital in Hong Kong can launch Initial Public Offerings or secondary listings or issue depository receipts," he said.

     Mr Tsang noted that investors worldwide were looking increasingly to emerging economies amid the economic uncertainty in the West, and Brazil and China are members of the BRICS group of major emerging economies.

     "In October last year, five stock exchanges from the BRICS group, including Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) and BM&FBOVESPA, forged an alliance to promote investment and to cross-list each other's benchmark equity index derivatives," he said. "We intend to develop products to track these BRICS exchanges. This will give investors more confidence in, and exposure to, investment opportunities in our dynamic markets."

     Before leaving São Paulo, the Chief Executive delivered another speech to senior representatives of the business community and city government at a luncheon co-organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and InvestHK.  

     He emphasised that Hong Kong was China's financial front office for two-way investment and could be the springboard for Brazil to expand its financial connectivity with the nation and beyond.  These include Hong Kong's stock market and offshore Renminbi bond market.

     "Renminbi trade settlement is an effective mechanism for connecting with business partners in the Mainland.  Since last August, Brazilian firms and companies around the world have been able to settle their trade with partners throughout the Mainland using Renminbi.

     "Renminbi trade settlement reduces the additional costs and exchange rate risks of using a third currency.  It is also attractive to Mainland partners who may prefer to use their own currency to settle foreign trade," he said.

     In promoting Hong Kong's tourism industry, the Chief Executive highlighted Hong Kong's unique culture which is part Western and part Eastern, adding that our city offers some of the most sought-after shopping and dining experiences in Asia, together with rural countryside which features magnificent secluded beaches and country parks.

     "In the past ten years, visitors from South America have more than doubled while those from Brazil have more than quadrupled.  We are investing heavily in our tourism infrastructure. This includes a new cruise terminal which, when operational in 2013, will be able to handle the world's largest cruise liners and enhance our city's reputation as a cruise destination," he said.

     Mr Tsang left Brazil for Hong Kong on April 17 (Brazil time) and will arrive in the city in the early morning of April 19 (Hong Kong time).

Ends/Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Issued at HKT 10:31


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